This last Memorial Day started like most of our others-we had an easy going morning, didn’t really do much and at the last minute decided to make plans. We rarely plan things on holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day because it’s such a pain dealing with crowds and trying to travel. Jon took charge and made the plans (something he rarely does) so we all opted to go along for the ride.
We live next to the Virgin River and have found several small nooks that are fun for swimming and are typically not overcrowded. Jon had heard of a particular part of the river, far away from civilization with a man-made waterfall that was fun for kids to play in and under. We packed our swim suits, some snacks and towels and loaded up in his Suzuki Samurai for the off-road adventure with some of our friends, the Coopers.
The terrain wasn’t bad until we got to the very end. There was a hill leading down to the waterfront and it was super steep. We didn’t realize exactly how steep until about mid-way down when it had become impossible to stop and turn around. As we made it to the bottom it became apparent that we would be lucky to be able to make it back up, and Steve’s 2 wheel drive Jeep was definitely not making it back up that hill.
It was SUPER hot so we made the decision to at least play in the water for a bit to cool down before really trying to figure out how to get home. We got to the water only to discover a terrifyingly high and fast moving river with a waterfall too scary for children to play in or around. After playing lifeguard to all of our many children (who have NO self-preservation whatsoever) we decided it was best for us to just go.
The men stood and looked at the hill, and then each other, and then us and all of the children we have and we decided that Kim, I and the kids would walk up the very steep hill in our flippy floppys, at 5 PM in the lovely summer heat. We left them at the bottom to let some air out of Steve’s tires and we all prayed that somehow we could get one of the cars up the hill.
They sent the Suzuki up first and by what can only be a miracle, it made it to the top. He took a running start at the hill and didn’t stop the entire way, barely making it. This meant that at least some of us could get back home. Jon ran back down the hill to help Steve.
They tried the Jeep next and even with flatter tires, a running start and Steve doing all he could…it quickly slipped and couldn’t’ make it up. I will never forget our poor husbands red faces as they ran up the hill to tell us it wasn’t going to make it. We all conferenced at the top in the shade of the Suzuki and decided that Kim and I would head back with the kids while Steve and Jon drove further down the river towards home looking for another way up and cell service. We hugged our husbands worrying that we may not see them until the morning (knowing that the worst case scenario was them walking home following the river as a guide).
We filled the Suzuki to the brim with children, left the boys with all of the water and supplies we had and drove ourselves home. I was SO grateful that only a month before I had been out that way with Debbie and knew my way home and how to lock/unlock the hubs! We safely made it back to my house, switched to the spacious and luxurious minivan and promptly drove ourselves to Baskin Robins, awaiting any news from our husbands.
Fourtunately, we didn’t have to wait long. We quickly recieved a text that they were fine. They tried to drive further up the river and hit sand but found cell service and were able to call another friend for help. I’m still SO amazed that a truck could just drag that jeep up that hill! It was not short and VERY steep!
Unsure of how long it would take them to get out and back, we headed back to my house, bathed all of the kids and got ready for bed. Just as we were getting them all settled in, our husbands magically appeared in the driveway-safe and sound!! I’m still so amazed that something that could have been much more tragic turned out so well, although our boy scout husbands weren’t that sad about the thought of having to find their way home in the dark.
Moral of the story…have a hunting friend with a really big truck and outdoorsy skills. Also, just go to a pool for Memorial Day, crowds aren’t that bad.